Community Advice, Palo Alto Art Center join forces

Amanda Carlsson and Paige Esterly


Driving down Embarcadero Rd., it’s hard to miss the colorful signs tacked onto the passing telephone poles. When stopping to examine them, one realizes that these posters are more than just lost cat signs or advertisements for the nearest garage sale, but instead offer short, sage peaces of advice given through flashy, rainbow letters. These unusual flyers are all part of the new art project Community Advice.

Community Advice is initiated by Susan O’Malley, a local artist, who hopes to remind people of their own inner wisdom.

“I think it’s easy to forget how wise we can be,” O’Malley said. “My hope is that these community-authored public service announcements will reflect back – even if momentarily – our inner brilliance and perhaps allow a brief space to gently listen to our own advice. ”

O’Malley has worked with the Palo Alto Arts Center on this project, and will display these posters at the Arts Center and up and down Embarcardero.

This project is right up O’Malley’s alley, which made the collecting the poster quotes easy and fun.

“My projects aspire to incite hope, optimism and a sense of interconnectedness in our lives,” she said. “[To get the poster quotes], I interviewed a few shy of 100 people in Palo Alto. I like to hear other people’s advice. It reminds me how similar we are. And sometimes other people’s words magically express exactly what I’m thinking but can’t seem to pull together.”

For more information on the project, you can visit the Palo Alto Art Center website, the Community Advice website or O’Malley’s personal website.

You can see the exhibit at the Palo Alo Art Center at 1313 Newell Rd.